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Buzzer Beater – Palmer Clanks One For The Win

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His beloved Cowboys might have gotten crushed Sunday but Ryan Palmer did give his fellow Texans at least some reason to smile later in the day.  The 33 year-old Amarillo native won the Sony Open in Hawaii today, capping it off with a less than attractive eagle chip that almost left a dent in the flagstick.  The ensuing birdie got him to 15 under par and left his closest rival, Robert Allenby, in need of his own birdie to force a playoff.

Palmer took more than a few extra practice strokes before executing the chip shot.  With the grain running hard against him he knew the possibility of a fat shot or a skulled one loomed large. He was right but fortunately his line was dead on and the ball struck the flag solidly, leaving it just inches from the hole.  "A lucky bounce," exclaimed the champ just after leaving the 18th green.  "It was probably going to go by 7 or 8 feet."

Allenby, left to make a tying putt, failed in the execution of the tying putt and watched another PGA Tour title slip away.  It was his 7th runner-up finish on the PGA Tour where he last hoisted a trophy in 2001.

It was the third career win for Palmer who also took top spot at the 2004 FUNAI Classic at Disney and the 2008 Ginn sur Mer Classic.

Asked to compare today's win with those Palmer pointed to his mental state as the key to his 2010 success.

"It's hard to compare. Obviously, the two wins that I had, one when I came back and shot a 62. And of course again, I was one back going in the final round next to the last group. That was the battle when you got 7 guys tied for the lead with five holes to go.  Neither one of them could compare with what I went through today, just emotionally, just how I kept myself in check, and calm, and relaxed. I'm amazed at how calm I was.

I came out today the same motto, the same idea that I had all week, just kept loose.

And playing Robert, we had a good time again, we talked a lot today, which kept me loose too. It was a great battle. Robert deserved just as much as I did to win, but fortunately I am the one that came out on top."

With the win Palmer earned 500 FedEx Cup Points and is now the co-leader in that race with SBS Championship winner Geoff Ogilvy.  He is also now exempt through the 2010 PGA Tour season and earns an automatic invite to The Masters.

Next week he will try to win two in a row as the Tour heads to the California desert for the Bob Hope Classic.  He tees off on the 10th hole Wednesday at the SilverRock Resort Course.

Pat Perez is the defending champion.

Notes:

Ryan Palmer has used the same Odyssey Rossie II putter for several years including for his 2008 win.  It is fitted with a UST Mamiya Frequency Filtered shaft.

You can learn more about Ryan at his Facebook page.  Prior to the win today he had just 750 fans on that page.  He will likely gain a few more in the days ahead.

—————-

This report to GolfWRX.com provided by Flagstick Golf Magazine (www.flagstick.com)

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USGA, R&A to roll out new World Handicap System in 2020

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A new handicap system is here, or rather, it will be once the USGA and R&A begin to fully implement the World Handicap System in 2020.

The new system focuses on achieving three main objectives: 1) encouraging as many golfers as possible to maintain a handicap, 2) enabling golfers of different abilities, genders, and nationalities to compete fairly, and 3) determining the score a golfer is reasonably capable of shooting at any particular course anywhere in the world.

Currently there are six handicapping systems worldwide, owing to the existence of six handicapping authorities: Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the USGA.

The six handicapping authorities represent approximately 15 million golfers in 80 countries who currently maintain a golf handicap.

Under the new program, the USGA and R&A will oversee the World Handicap System and the governing bodies will be in charge of local administration.

The USGA presents the WHS as a better system that simplifies the existing structures. Not surprisingly, the organization believes the WHS will compel more golfers to maintain a handicap.

“For some time, we’ve heard golfers say, ‘I’m not good enough to have a handicap,’ or ‘I don’t play enough to have a handicap,’” USGA executive director Mike Davis said. “We want to make the right decisions now to encourage a more welcoming and social game.”

Davis sees the new system marching arm-in-arm with the revisions to (and simplification of) the Rules of Golf.

“We’re excited to be taking another important step – along with modernizing golf’s rules – to provide a pathway into the sport, making golf easier to understand and more approachable and enjoyable for everyone to play.”

Key features of the WHS include:

  • Flexibility in formats of play, allowing both competitive and recreational rounds to count for handicap purposes and ensuring that a golfer’s handicap is more reflective of potential ability.
  • A minimal number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap; a recommendation that the number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap be 54 holes from any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds, but with “some discretion available for handicapping authorities or national associations to set a different minimum within their own jurisdiction.”
  • A consistent handicap that “is portable” from course to course and country to country through worldwide use of the USGA course and slope rating system, already used in more than 80 countries.
  • An average-based calculation of a handicap, taken from the best eight out of the last 20 scores and “factoring in memory of previous demonstrated ability for better responsiveness and control.”
  • A calculation that considers the impact that abnormal course and weather conditions might have on a player’s performance each day.
  • Daily handicap revisions, taking account of the course and weather conditions calculation.
  • A limit of net double bogey on the maximum hole score (for handicapping purposes only).
  • A maximum handicap limit of 54.0, regardless of gender, to encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance to increase their enjoyment of the game.

The USGA and R&A conducted quantitative research in 15 countries around the world. 76 percent of the 52,000 respondents voiced their support for a World Handicap System, 22 percent were willing to consider its benefits, and only 2 percent were opposed.

The research also helped model the tenets of the WHS, but, as mentioned, don’t tear up your GHIN cards just yet: We’ve only just begun the two-year transition period prior to the implementation.

To provide feedback to the USGA on the new World Handicap System, golfers can email the USGA at whsfeedback@usga.org, or see usga.org/whs for more info.

Additionally, the USGA created this FAQ.

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Honda Classic below!

Tuesday’s Photos

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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Monday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Honda Classic below!

Monday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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